Metaphyiscal Mondays With... Willow

In this Metaphysical Monday interview, I talk with Willow about growing up witchy and the way that it influenced who they are as a magic practitioner, spiritworker and tarot reader today. I’ve known Willow for years, on and off, and it was lovely to reconnect and get to know who they are today in this interview!


Greetings Willow, thanks for agreeing to talk with me today! Always lovely to have you at my digital fireside. To start things off, would you be able to introduce yourself to my readers?


Hey there, Lee! It’s an honor to be here really, thank you for the offer to talk! I can’t think of a better way to spend my afternoon, and I’m glad we could find time to do this. I’ll be more than happy to.


My name is Willow Blair, I’ve been sort of surrounded by the metaphysical since I was little, and it’s been an interesting if not insightful journey to see where that takes me. Usually I just tell people the main things they should know about me are I’m bisexual, I’m genderfluid, and I identify as a witch for the most part. I’ve been reading tarot since I was little and I answer the door to pretty much anyone who knocks as long as they’re willing to deal with me potentially tired and feral.


I ask this a lot when I’m doing interviews, but as someone who came into the metaphysical in my very late teens, I’m always interested in the experiences of people who got to be there when young. Would you be willing to talk a little bit more about that?


My mother really was my initiation into this, in little things she did. It’s definitely interesting to look back on, to have memories of my mother mostly filling the house with incense and stones. She was a child of the late-ish 60s so of course Stevie Nicks and Tori Amos and all sort of witchy female presences were draped around the house and I didn’t think much of dancing around outside at night, of talking about or even to gods with the same sort of reverence that you heard at church. It wasn’t all Practical Magic and Midnight Margaritas, but it was something I knew was natural and familiar.


Wouldn’t we all love it to be more Midnight Margaritas…


Honestly!


Although since I’m getting off the subject already, let’s keep swinging this back to you!


Must we? I could talk about you (or literally anything else but me) all day for sure!


I could too, but focus! 😂 We have to focus, Willow!


Alright, alright. If we must! 😜


At home, witchcraft was something you did to celebrate yourself, something that empowered and protected you. It wasn’t called witchcraft, it was called practicing, if I were pressed to call what I did in my childhood anything at all. Of course being born in 1993 the only sort of texts or sources I had were very Wicca-centered. Yes, I had Silver Ravenwolf’s Teen Witch Kit, no I didn’t realize how godsawful she was as an author until I got older. Scott Cunningham was a prominent author featured in my mom’s library too, and he’s still a decent reference if not woefully outdated. (Can’t be helped, most Wiccan texts I’ve found are a bit behind).


As a kid, trees and wind had a voice, God was someone you could talk to no matter where you were or how you felt. If you were sad or upset, you drank tea or made a spell, when things got really dark or scary you saged the hell out of the place and put bowls of salt by the window for protection. It was just sort of something always around me, patiently waiting for my eyes to grow sharper.


It sounds like you were very much set on this path you’re on now, for sure. Do you still have Wicca as a part of your practice, or have you branched out differently since the 90s?


It definitely buried itself into my bones one way or another. I think everyone has this sort of thing innate in their own ways, the thing that you end up working on is… How your soul decides to resonate with it. Sound waves and frequencies exist without telephones and computers, but having those devices allows you to almost personalize and amplify what is wholly yours, you know?


For instance, to answer your question regarding Wicca-No, I don’t follow any sort of Wiccan path anymore. It was once the only path available to me, but being able to branch out (no pun intended) and engage with deities or the metaphysical on my own has allowed me to really understand the ground I’ve decided to walk on.


Wicca is an initiatory religion, much in the same way Catholicism or Christianity is, and requires studies and practice under a tutor that I never really found-Though I did almost join a coven with someone who has since renounced any sort of religion or spiritually (a trend that sometimes happens, at least I’ve encountered it a bit in my experiences, especially with Wicca). I found the conformity of Wicca to be a little...Incompatible with what ended up being my wavelength.


I respect and admire anyone who finds their home in organized religion, but I always think of my mother’s phrase of “I’m not religious, but I do have faith.”


I’m similar. I don’t follow any path because I find that no terms out there seem to fit the way that I practice. If I had to, I’d tuck it under the eclectic witchcraft umbrella but even then, I don’t resonate with the word ‘witch’ personally.


It definitely seems like the way to go. Faith is such a personal thing that to get the most out of, I feel like you have to discover yourself in it. Drinking from the community fountain is all well and good but you sometimes have to pour yourself a helping and drink from your own glass, you know? It’s always interesting to me to see the different way people give meanings to their labels they do and don’t choose!


Oh, very much so! I agree entirely. Do you think you have similar thoughts about the term ‘witch’ because of your spiritwork? Could you talk a little about that?


Words and labels do have power, and when we first choose them, they echo a connotation and energy. For a lot of people, the mystery and {wiggles fingers} magic (for lack of a better word) that ‘witch’ has is this enigmatic, fierce little feeling. It’s the wise women, the energy workers, the outcasts and the like.


When I choose to use an identifier, I look into the community associated with it, the things someone who won’t go farther than the tip of the iceberg might see, and then follow it down to see what other things someone might be exposed to if they’re following me down.


I see if it fits, if the energy is consistent, and if I like it I take it. I did this with my name and I did this with both my sexuality and my gender identity and it hasn’t failed me yet.


That makes a lot of sense, really! Community - and feeling included in it - is one of the most important things about having a label for who you are - which is of course not necessary, but can be nice.


I agree!


One of the main things I discovered recently that I enjoy about any sort of community bond is that you get to “choose yourself” in a sense. Choosing to accept yourself and the things that make you you comes along with that, and can be echoed in connecting to others in a community.


‘Witch’ is basically the catch-all term for me when I don’t want to or am not invited to go into the nuance of whatever it is I do metaphysically/independently. I suppose I could say “Metaphysical Practitioner” but that involves saying I have a practice, and while I arguably do, I want to do so much more with it that I hesitate to say that.


I work with gods, I tap into a lot of deity work and deal with “higher beings” that aren’t always human, and at times I attract and prefer them. To me, phoning a friend could mean hopping onto Discord or staring at the ceiling and saying “Hey! How are you up there? Wanna watch something?” I have an altar, I light candles and incense, I occasionally yell at the sky. I’m willing to tango with things I can’t see with my eyes but can feel otherwise. It’s no different to me than any other part of my life, even if sometimes it can sound a little Out There. It’s as normal to me as breathing, even if there are times I find myself catching my breath with it.